Figuring out the best GPU hierarchy is a hard but not an impossible task. With so much variety going on in the world of graphics cards, it’ll be for the best that we sort them in separate tiers.
Furthermore, the cards will also be sorted within the tiers so these rankings are definitely open for discussion.
To avoid overcrowding, only cards from the last two generations from AMD and Nvidia will be considered, as well as brand new Ampere and RDNA cards.
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Compared to the rest of the GPUs on the market, cards from this tier are considered to be more suitable for enthusiasts who want to play their games at 4K resolution and at the very least at 60 FPS as well, with RTX 3090 offering 8K. Of course, there are also professional graphics cards out there, but they’re not really used for gaming, but instead for complex AI research or software development. These are GPUs like the Nvidia Titan RTX and Nvidia Titan V.
What may be surprising, is that currently, the best GPU that you can get is the Nvidia RTX 3080. It’s worth noting that RTX 3090 is technically a better and faster card, the additional 10-15% performance boost just isn’t worth more than twice the money.
Unfortunately, all of the GPUs in this tier are from Nvidia, as AMD still isn’t able to compete with Nvidia on this front.
Things may be looking up for AMD though, seeing how AMD is putting out its new RDNA 2 architecture GPUs in October of this year. There are also new GPUs coming from Nvidia that have already shifted down the entire GPU hierarchy.
Cards in this tier will bring you pretty good performance at a much more affordable price, although understandably, not as good as those the tier above.
Still, these cards are very capable of giving you stable 60 FPS gaming at 4K resolution, but perhaps not on Ultra settings. At the top, we have the RTX 3070 but followed extremely closely by RTX 2080 Ti. The only reason why 3070 takes the top spot is its price, but performance-wise, these cards are relatively level.
From there, the performance drops are more gradual but still noticeable. Here we have RTX 2080 Super with a little distance ahead of RTX 2070 Super and its base version. From Nvidia’s Pascal architecture, we have the Titan Xp as a top representative, as well as the Titan X and GTX 1080 Ti. This is where AMD makes its first appearance, although barely, with the RX 5700 XT and Radeon VII.
The reason why the RX 5700 XT is above Radeon VII is because of its RDNA architecture, although Radeon VII certainly makes a strong case for itself with its 16 GB of HBM2 memory.
And if those two AMD cards are taking a place here, it would be unfair to leave out the RTX 2070 and the RTX 2060 Super.
|2.||RTX 2080 Super||Nvidia|
|3.||RTX 2070 Super||Nvidia|
|7.||GTX 1080 Ti||Nvidia|
|8.||RX 5700 XT||AMD|
|11.||RTX 2060 Super||Nvidia|
‘B’ does not stand for ‘bad’ nor ‘budget’. These cards aren’t either of those. In fact, they’re perfectly serviceable cards that will provide you with a good performance for budget-friendly builds. One thing that should also be regarded carefully is that in this tier, we’ll see the last cards in the GPU hierarchy that support real-time raytracing.
The king of this tier is the AMD RX 5700 which also a strong contender for the tier above, but didn’t make it. The RX 5700 has a good price point and is one of the best economical GPUs out there. After it, we have the RX Vega 64 and the RX 5600 XT.
As you can see below, this tier consists mostly of AMD cards with some less powerful GPUs from Nvidia, such as the RTX 2060, GTX 1080, and the GTX 1070 Ti.
This is the final tier where you can comfortably enjoy 144 FPS gameplay without sacrificing the graphics quality, provided you have the monitor to support it.
|2.||RX Vega 64||AMD|
|3.||RX 5600 XT||AMD|
|6.||RX Vega 56||AMD|
|7.||GTX 1070 Ti||Nvidia|
At this point, we’re at half the price of RTX 2080 Ti, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t game with these cards.
They might not be able to pull off 1440p, but 1080p and 60 FPS at high settings can be acceptable as well, depending on your preferences. It’s vital to note that this won’t quite be possible on some of the most demanding games and further lowering the settings may be necessary for 60 FPS gaming.
Here’s where Nvidia again reigns supreme with stellar GPUs like GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super which are closely followed by GTX 1070 and GTX 1660. AMD didn’t go missing here, although their performance in this rank is below par with their representative RX 5500 XT, both 4GB and 8GB version, coming strongly behind Nvidia. Sandwiched between these two versions of RX 5500 XT is Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super.
Bottoming out the C tier we have GTX 1060 6GB.
|1.||GTX 1660 Ti||Nvidia|
|2.||GTX 1660 Super||Nvidia|
|5.||RX 5500 XT 8GB||AMD|
|6.||GTX 1650 Super||Nvidia|
|7.||RX 5500 XT 4GB||AMD|
|8.||GTX 1060 6GB||Nvidia|
Budget cards belonging in this tier are at the bottom for a reason. That being said, you can still obtain a solid performance with these GPUs. And even if you are on budget, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some hierarchy for you to decide.
Unlike the past tiers, here the top pick does not have a good case for the tier above. The top of D tier is GTX 1650, closely trailed by GTX 1060 3GB. Due to the previously imposed restrictions, only other members of this tier are GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050.
|2.||GTX 1060 3GB||Nvidia|
|3.||GTX 1050 Ti||Nvidia|
Final Words On The GPU Hierarchy
Although there are a few cards that could perform on the same level as a few cards from our GPU hierarchy, there are reasons why they were excluded. As mentioned before, only the last two generations of AMD and Nvidia GPUs were included. This means no cards older than 5th generation GCN and Pascal.